Currently reading: Audi A8 gets Google Earth
A8's sat-nav will be the first to use Google Earth images

Audi’s new A8 flagship will be the first car available with a sat-nav system that can display Google Earth images and detailed 3D images of European city centres. The A8’s Google Earth option will be available from the middle of next year.

Audi says it has incorporated an ‘nVidia 3D graphics processor’ of the type used in desktop and laptop computers into the A8’s electrical system so the car’s sat-nav screen can render ‘entire maps topographically, with shading tunnels and bridges.’

Eventually, when it is fully established, Audi expects to offer Google Street view as part of the navigation system.

Three-dimensional representations of European cities are also being added to the Internet databases and Audi sources said that travel information via Wikipedia and detailed weather reports would also be particularly useful to A8 drivers.

Audi is using a GPRS/EDGE module for its standard on-board Internet connection but will add a UMTS module in 2010, which allows the latest in high-speed data transfer via the mobile network.

It’s the UTMS technology – along with an on-board 2Gb memory buffer - that will allow the Google Earth images to be downloaded to the car. Audi engineers say that A8’s ability to maintain an Internet connection only diminishes when travelling at above 125mph.

The A8 also has the ability to play MPEG-4 video files and DVDs. It can also stream music via a Bluetooth connection and play videos from an external source.

Another advantage of the UTMS connection is the ability to download the album cover artwork for a music collection, which can then be displayed as a flip chart on the car’s screen.

A high-speed data link to the car will also allow for future innovations such as on-the-fly engine diagnostics and engine management updates for different driving conditions.

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Simonsays 22 December 2009

Re: Audi A8 gets Google Earth

ThwartedEfforts wrote:
What's needed is a slot for your phone and you pay for the car's interface to it - and nothing else.

I know for a fact that ain't far off happening you'll be pleased to hear, I've seen it being trialed already with an iphone and it works well and will make much more sense.

Not sure how all this will happen in the states, as JLR for instance ain't allowed to sell the dual view screen with DVD for passengers over there due to their laws about drivers being distracted - satnav is ok but viewing video isn't - sensibly. If you can see the internet though on your screen then you could watch video via youtube - wonder how it'll be regulated?

ThwartedEfforts 22 December 2009

Re: Audi A8 gets Google Earth

Quite. What's needed is a slot for your phone and you pay for the car's interface to it - and nothing else.

Walking 22 December 2009

Re: Audi A8 gets Google Earth

This must be dead end development. 2 things people want are the functions and files are mobile and that the hardware and software are renewed frequently every 6 to 24 months. Mobile phones are wrapping all this together and providing monthly contacts to cover the masses. What car developers should be providing is a plug-in for a built in monitor, interaction controls and maybe a signal booster. To try and provide anything else is duplication and outdated in the life cycle of a car.